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Advarra Acquires Forte: What You Need to Know

On September 5, 2019, Advarra announced its intent to acquire Forte. The combined organization leverages mutual strengths in supporting the research community with client service, regulatory expertise, and technology-enabled efficiencies to accelerate innovation, streamline research operations, support faster study start-up, and help make research altogether better. Click here to read the full press release.

We will conduct business as usual, and customers will keep their current team for support, customer relationships, and implementation projects. Both Advarra and Forte are more committed than ever to providing exceptional customer service and the industry’s best product and service offerings, as well as fostering the strong Onsemble customer community. Customers will continue to receive the high level of quality service that they have come to expect, while gaining access to the enhanced benefits the combined company will provide.

We understand that questions may arise as we bring our industry-leading organizations together, so we’ve assembled this FAQ to address some of the most commonly asked questions about the Forte acquisition. If you don’t see your question addressed here, please contact your Forte Customer Relationships Team at customerrelationships@forteresearch.com or your Advarra Business Development team at businessdevelopment@advarra.com.

Q: How is this a benefit to Forte customers?

A: This new investment will allow Forte to accelerate innovation on current and future standards-based solutions to support customers in unleashing their research potential. We will provide customers a more fully integrated solution across people, process, and technology, including:

  • Innovative technology: An unprecedented interface between Forte technology and the Advarra Center for IRB Intelligence (CIRBI) Platform which will provide seamless workflows and reduce manual data entry 
  • Enhanced Onsemble community: An even stronger Onsemble community through the resources and thought leadership Advarra offers the broader research community—Advarra offers the greatest institutional reach of any independent IRB (serving well over 3,200 research institutions, health systems, and academic medical centers) 
  • Consulting capabilities: Best practices to optimize your enterprise research portfolio through the expertise of Advarra’s global consulting services – which include regulatory, clinical operations, research finance, contracting, and clinical billing 
  • More efficient and higher-quality clinical trials: By leveraging Advarra’s dominant position with sponsors and CROs we will accelerate industry adoption of Forte’s Trial Data Exchange, an interconnected clinical research ecosystem that includes sites, central IRB, sponsors, and CROs

Q: How is this a benefit to Advarra customers?

A: Both Advarra and Forte are more committed than ever to providing exceptional customer service and the industry’s best product and service offerings. Together we will leverage mutual strengths to continue to provide customers a more fully integrated solution, including:

  • Innovative technology: An unprecedented interface between Forte technology and the Advarra Center for IRB Intelligence (CIRBI) platform for more seamless workflows and to reduce manual data entry. 
  • Extensive institutional reach: While Advarra offers the greatest institutional reach of any independent IRB, serving well over 3,200 research institutions, health systems, and academic medical centers, Forte boasts 98 percent cumulative customer retention over 19 years of operation, serving 72 percent of NCI-designated cancer centers and 70 percent of the top 50 NIH-funded research institutions in 2019.
  • Global consulting capabilities: The expertise of Advarra Consulting is complementary to the high value technology solutions of Forte and can be leveraged to better manage your enterprise research portfolio.
  • Market-leading, integrated research compliance and research technology solutions: Advarra’s unified, easy-to-use suite of services and Forte’s industry-leading standards-based software combine to provide the research community and the biopharmaceutical industry with integrated, seamless solutions to advance healthcare in more meaningful ways.

Q: What impact does the acquisition have on customers?

A: We will conduct business as usual, and customers will keep their current team for support, customer relationships, and implementation projects. Both Advarra and Forte are more committed than ever to providing exceptional customer service and the industry’s best product and service offerings, as well as fostering the strong Onsemble customer community.

Customers will continue to receive the high level of quality service that they have come to expect, while gaining access to the enhanced benefits the combined company will provide. The combined company will provide customers with extended opportunities to address people, process, and technology needs in a more fully integrated solution.

Q: What will happen to the Forte brand?

A: The Forte brand and product brands, especially OnCore and Onsemble Community brands, are extremely strong, and we want to continue to leverage on the brand power that has been built over the years. We will continue to use these brands for the foreseeable future while also associating the brand name with Advarra.

Q: Will this change current Onsemble plans?

A: No. The strong customer community Forte built over the last two decades remains a top priority. The goal and focus of Forte’s bi-annual Onsemble conference itself remains unchanged: to connect with the customer community and forge relationships, serving as a space to learn and collaborate. The Onsemble Conference, the week of September 16, 2019, will proceed as planned. There is no change to the scheduled conference sessions due to this news.

Q: How does the acquisition affect Forte’s product roadmap?

A: This new investment will allow Forte to accelerate innovation on current and future solutions to support customers in unleashing their research potential. This includes continuing to enhance our current products and services, introducing new solutions, and moving toward an interconnected research ecosystem through initiatives like the Trial Data Exchange.

Q: What will happen to my data?

A: There will be no changes to your data or use of technology. We consider data privacy a top priority and will continue to treat your data in a protected and secure manner.

Q: How will my interactions with Forte change?

A: Both Advarra and Forte are committed to providing customers the highest level of customer service. Providing standards-based software and services to help you meet your research goals remains a top priority.

You will keep your current Forte team for support, customer relationships, and current implementation projects. You may also be introduced to Advarra team members. Together, these individuals will be focused on helping you achieve your goals. The quality of our products, services, and customer service have been and will remain a hallmark of our combined company going forward.

Q: How will my interactions with Advarra change?

A: Both Advarra and Forte are committed to providing customers the highest level of customer service. Providing research compliance software and services to help you meet your research goals remains a priority.

You will keep your current Advarra team for support and customer relationships. You may also be introduced to Forte team members. Together, these individuals will be focused on helping you achieve your goals. The quality of our products, services, and customer service have been and will remain a hallmark of our combined company going forward.

Q: Will there be any changes to existing contracts?

A: No. Advarra will continue to honor existing Forte contracts without changes, and no changes are needed to Advarra contracts.

Q: We’re in the middle of implementation for a Forte product. How does the acquisition affect our plans?

A: There will be no changes to active implementation projects, your current implementation timelines, or communicated pricing. Also, your Forte implementation team will not be affected.

Q: How long do you expect integration will take?

A: We are targeting to complete company integration activities by the end of the year. Any changes to policies and procedures that impact you will be proactively communicated.

Q: How do I know the quality of your work will remain consistent?

A: Both Forte and Advarra are industry leaders with a strong reputation for providing exceptional technology solutions and high touch customer service. This remains as we work to integrate the organizations to be stronger together. As always, we remain committed and diligent to the highest levels of quality of our work and personalized customer support.

Operational excellence and ease of use will remain at the forefront of our integration effort. As always, we want to hear from you if we are not meeting your needs in any way. Please contact your Advarra or Forte representative with any questions and follow your existing escalation paths for any concerns.

Q: Do you plan to merge Forte and Advarra technology platforms?

A: Forte has built best-in-class technology that will continue to be a foundation for future product innovations. We are tremendously excited to interface Forte technology with the Advarra Center for IRB Intelligence (CIRBI) Platform for more seamless workflows and to reduce manual data entry. This unprecedented interface will reduce errors, improve quality, and increase productivity and compliance for AMCs, cancer centers, health systems, and in turn, sponsors and CROs.

In addition, we will continue to support and invest in the OnCore API, enabling you to interface with your local IRBs.

Furthermore, we will identify opportunities to enable data exchanges from Forte products to other clinical research stakeholders such as sponsors and CROs through initiatives like the Trial Data Exchange

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